Tiny Hands, Wedding Bands, and the Fight to Focus on Marriage

Tiny Hands, Wedding Bands, and the Fight to Focus on Marriage | Christine Chappell | Clean Home, Messy Heart

It happened again, as it tends to every month or so. Somehow in the shuffle of the day, I had carelessly taken off my wedding ring—and in an instant, it was gone. Just when I think I’ve trained myself to carefully watch where I place it, and just when I think I finally will heed my husband’s advice to always place it in the very same spot, some chore or task will come out of nowhere that calls for me to take it off—and I never can remember having done so.

This day was no different, and who knows when it came off my finger in the first place. As soon as I went to walk out the door, I squeezed my thumb to touch my ring finger, only to find the band missing. I quickly looked and saw the outlines from the ring embedded in my finger and realized it hadn’t been off for very long.

Yet somehow, I didn’t give a second thought to where it went.

Queue the hurried search as I scavenged anxiously to find the diamond treasure. After ten minutes had passed, and countless laps around the house turned up nothing, the Spirit immediately called my attention to the new shag area rug in the living room (what a black hole that “high pile luxury” has turned out to be.)

Sensing the Spirit was leading me to the ring, I took the carpet rake (yes, there’s such a thing) to the rug and began to comb. I wasn’t more than halfway along in my careful grooming when that shiny wedded–white gold sprung to the top of the pile, and my fears were finally relieved.

How did it end up there, you ask? Beats me. I probably took it off on the table and my darling toddler daughter swooped on the sparkle like a vulture to a carcass. But what’s even more alarming than my complete negligence is that this happens, like clockwork, almost every month.

Every month when I’m busy, hurried, distracted, multi-tasking, not only do I misplace my wedding ring, I misplace my attention to my husband.

Every month, as I don’t even realize it’s happening, the Lord allows my ring to go missing ever so briefly. He allows me to feel the weight of panic and concern when important things, even symbolic ones, are carelessly tossed aside. He uses this temporary loss as a reminder—and a warning—that I’m not mentally present in my marriage. It’s when my attention to the ring is no longer intentional that it turns up missing, and the same goes for my wedded bliss.

More often than not, our schedules, our jobs, our children, and our dreams have a way of sneaking into the marital relationship to weaken the bond. We know Satan can use even good things to sour the best things, and what more vulnerable place to attack than our marriages, where the beauty of conflict and forgiveness, love and sacrifice, is meant to be gloriously displayed.

But if we’re completely honest with ourselves, Satan isn’t the only one to blame for this forgetfulness we encounter. Our pride, selfishness, and desire for independance  also commands our attention away from our spouses. We’re far more prone to use excuses than we care to admit, but the damage of such a refusal to “face the music”, as it were, is a threat that far outweighs our self-serving desires.

When we finally come to the realization that our marital focus has gone adrift, we must ask ourselves: what’s causing us to take off the proverbial “ring”, and just where on earth are we putting it?

I thank the Lord that although he has taken me through this exercise at least a dozen times already, he has finally unveiled its meaning to my heart. These aren’t random acts of forgetfulness designed to teach me I can’t have nice things—rather, this intentional discipline gives me fair warning that I’m beginning to steer off-track, that there’s a husband who’s feeling neglected, that there are too many things (or tiny hands) I’m allowing to disrupt my ability to provide the love, support, and affection I am called to give him.

Time and time again when that ring goes missing, I pray for the Lord to help me find it. After all of this time and all of these scares, I’ve never lost the ring…and by God’s grace, I don’t intend to.

For reflection:

1.) Take a look at your marriage relationship and pray over what distractions are causing you to shift your focus away from loving your spouse the way that you are called. Ask the Spirit to convict you of any sinful behaviors, attitudes, or desires that may be causing you to drift mentally. Confess these things not only to the Lord, but also to your spouse, and seek their forgiveness.

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